24Oct 2014
Cleaning Up After Arts and CraftsTips for Cleaning Up After Art Activities Whether you’re a parent, a kindergarten or primary school teacher, or working in another sector with young children, you may be revelling in the benefits of arts and crafts. Crafty creations provide fantastic, fun and engaging activities for young children, both boys and girls. There are endless opportunities to create some joyful little things using a variety of resources.But of course, there is a downside. Getting crafty usually means getting messy, colourful, and sticky. Scissors for chopping, paint and markers to decorating, and glue for sticking are essential factors in arts and crafts. But these little devils can be creators of enormous mess.First of all, the cleaning up stage of artsy-craftsy fun can be helped enormously from the word go: before the equipment is even unpacked! Organising boxes and craft storage will systematically make your life easier when cleaning up, and having a place to put everything back will reduce chaos. Every arts and crafts box should have a few essentials: -    Baby wipes: these are amazing for quick paint clean-ups and wiping any excess paint off the brushes. They are also amazing at making little sticky hands clean in an instant-    Tissues: dry surface wipes will be ideal to wipe any paint or water off tables. A tissue is also ideal for wiping excess glue off the bottle lid which will prevent it from sealing itself shut-    Jars: these storage devices will be a great hidey-hole for paintbrushes, markers and scissors. Having the jars laid out with labels (both written and pictorial) will make it easy for kids to place items back where they need to goIf some paint does spill on the floor, don’t panic! Similarly, if your child has painted of their clothing, it will come out. Most paints used in craft sessions are water-based, and therefore will soak out with water treatment. For spills on the carpet, use a damp clean cloth to blot the area. Be mindful not to spread the paint around, rather dab at the spill. This will remove excess paint. Next, spray some water over the area until quite wet, then place a paper towel on the top and allow it to sit for twenty or so minutes. If the stain persists, use a mixture of bi-carb soda and water to break down the stain. For paint stains on clothing, use a similar method. Place the item in a bucket of warm water and allow it to sit for some time. The water should remove the stain easily. If unsuccessful, try adding some washing detergent to the water or stain removal product to the area, and allow it to soak in the water.To avoid other spills like glitter, make sure lids of glitter jars are well-sealed and only open a small amount for sprinkling – do this to avoid a clump of glitter sprinkled everywhere. If the unfortunate does happen and there is a glitter explosion, using a vacuum cleaner is the best method to clean it up. If glitter gets caught in nooks and crannies of tables or chairs, grab an old toothbrush dipped in water to collect the sparkle dust. For glue and paint spills on hard surfaces such as tables or chairs, these should be easy to clean up. Start with paper towel and remove the bulk of the spill. Then run across the surfaces with a damp cloth. Most spills should be removed with just water, but for stubborn spots use some standard cleaning product. It is always a good idea to place a disposable plastic table cloth over a table when doing arts and crafts, to make clean up much easier!

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